Difference Between Finance and Marketing
Finance is defined as procurement, management and effective utilization of entity’s finance in a way to increase the overall wealth of the organization and to achieve its objectives and goals in limited period of time whereas, marketing is an action or a task of promoting its business, its products and services and it includes process of creating and expanding business’s contact and reach helping it to grow in the competitive world.
Finance and Marketing, are two domains of study that every business needs. In simple terms, the marketing department takes responsibility for generating revenue and the finance department is responsible for transporting this revenue in different activities to ensure maximum growth of the wealth.
So how these two are different? In this article, we will investigate each of these domain of study and carefully analyze the outlook of these subjects, the education you require to be able to be proficient in these fields, the primary tasks or responsibilities you need to handle, work-life balance, compensation you would receive and lastly the pros and cons of being in these two professions.
As they are very broad in scope, we will pick up the most common professions under this domain and discuss in detail.
Let’s get started.
- Comparative Table
- Primary tasks or roles
- Work-life balance
- Career Pros & Cons
|What is it?||The finance department is responsible for transporting these revenues in different activities to ensure maximum growth of the wealth.||Marketing department takes responsibility for generating the revenue|
|Education||Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor in Finance & Accounts, Bachelor in Economics, Bachelor in Mathematics, etc. Economics and Mathematics, MBA in Finance||Graduation in any field of interest. MBA in Marketing.
it’s all about understanding the business side of things and learning how to be a better salesman.
|Hard Skills Required||
|Travel||Mostly finance professionals do not travel much. You can safely assume that 90% of the time is spent in Office.||Marketing Professionals in most cases travel (more than 80% of the time). They are found more with the clients than in the office|
|Soft Skills Required||Ability to work for an extended time period (80-100+ hours a week), Excellent Communication Skills Required, Writing Skills, Negotiation Skills||Presentation Skills
Ability to understand Clients Requirement, Communication Skills, Excellent Presentation Skills, Taking Ownership
|Inter-dependency?||High. If the finance department is being removed from any organization, then the marketing function would generate profits but will no way be fruitful for the organization as there won’t be proper distribution of profits.||High. If the marketing function is being removed from an organization, no revenue will be generated and thus the finance department would not be required at all other than sourcing the funds from other resources for production.|
|Work-Life Balance||Varies depending on the roles. Investment bankers have no work-life balance. Financial Analyst’s work life is relatively stable. Those in Corporate Finance roles can also enjoy a reasonable work-life balance||Sales Targets are the key. For a talented salesman / Marketing Professional, there could be no issues related to work-life balance. However, many may have to slog to achieve targets. Also, social media specialist or copywriter may not need to stay late or work beyond the stipulated time.|
|Compensation||According to Payscale.com, the median salary of finance professionals is the US $84,800 per annum. However, please note that it varies across departments, designations, and roles||As per Salary.com, the median salary of the marketing manager is the US $93,459 per annum. But this amount varies as per the scope of the work, the position/designation, the core areas|
|Popular Certifications||CFA, FRM, PRM, CFP, CIMA, CMA, ACCA, CPA and more||AMA’s PCM, Google Ads Certification, DMA Certification, Scrum Alliance – Scrum Certification|
|Future Status||Finance has been an age-old profession. All fields should continue to operate as they were in the past. Some upcoming fields in finance include automation in Finance, algorithmic trading, Behavioral Finance, etc||In this digital age, Marketing professionals have a great future – expected to know number games. Marketing professionals also are now expected to integrate Data Science and Sales & Marketing Data. Expected to learn statistics, visualizing tools for analysis, R Language and more.|
Finance vs Marketing Outlook
Even if finance and marketing are two completely different fields, without one, another will hardly exist in an organization.
- For example, if the marketing function is being removed from an organization, no revenue will be generated and thus the finance department would not be required at all other than sourcing the funds from other resources for production.
- Similarly, if the finance department is being removed from any organization, then the marketing function would generate profits but will no way be fruitful for the organization as there won’t be proper distribution of profits.
So we can understand that these two functions are complementary to each other.
Now we will pick each of them and see the outlook of each function.
- If we look at finance, there are two main functions. First is the procurement of funds and second is the utilization of funds. The chief aim of the procurement of funds is to reduce the cost as much as possible.
- And the primary goal of the utilization of funds is to maximize the returns.
- Now, generally speaking, these two functions can further be divided into two sub-parts – short-term and long-term. When the finance department goes about procurement of funds they think two things – short-term source and long-term source.
- With short-term sources, the organization takes care of the day to day operations, whereas, with long-term sources, the organization makes financing decisions. In the case of the utilization of funds, there are two types of investments.
- In the short term, the firm thinks about current assets and in the long term, they invest the money in fixed assets or projects worth investing.
- If you decide to become a finance professional, usually you would deal with these basic things.
- Now, finance is very broad and its scope is huge. The functions and objectives of finance (in different organizations) change as per the scope and opportunity of the domain of work.
In the case of marketing, it is an art and science of attracting businesses and people to buy not only your products and services but your philosophy of business as well.
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- Through marketing, the selling process becomes much easier. But marketing has evolved a lot. In the middle 90s, marketing was used to fulfill only one objective and that is to generate profits. Thus the tools and techniques used back then have become obsolete for the current generation of people. Today, marketing is based on permission.
- No-one likes to be bombarded with irrelevant advertisements even when the products and services you offer are of high quality. You need to first understand what customers want and then find a way to fulfill the expectation of the customers and this is the way things work in marketing nowadays.
- It’s completely customer-centric and even before making profits, the company should concentrate mainly on fulfilling the expectations of your existing and potential customers.
- Marketing is not only used to generate revenues but also to source the best talents. If a company sells good products and services and has impeccable integrity, more and more talents would get attracted to the company.
- But that will not happen just by sitting across. It’s the function of marketing to convey the message and reach the existing & potential customers and people in general. Once the marketing of a company is taken care of, everything else takes care of themselves.
If you want to do good in finance, you need technical skills coupled with communication and interpersonal skills. But to be good at marketing, you need to understand business and be a master of communication more than anything else.
So, let’s have a look at what education would be ideal for both of these fields.
#1 – Finance Careers
- If we talk about finance there are many courses and many avenues which you can take up as your potential career choice. But the question still remains which one! If you want to be in finance, it’s best that you start with the core subjects at your graduation.
- The possible degrees you can pursue in your graduation are Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor in Finance & Accounts, Bachelor in Economics, Bachelor in Mathematics, etc.
- Economics and Mathematics have special significance if you want to go in core finance domain like in investments or risk management.
- After graduation, you can go for MBA in Finance from a top-notch institute or you can opt for CFA depending on whatever career goals you have.
- There are multiple opportunities and various openings if you decide to go for the finance domain. So set your career goal first, do your own research and then go ahead with your preferred career choice.
#2 – Marketing Career
- In the case of marketing, it’s all about understanding the business side of things and learning how to be a better salesman.
- You always don’t need to go door-to-door to sell pieces of stuff, but you need to know your customers, how they respond to changes and who they are and their tastes and preferences.
- Generally speaking, the best option for you is to pursue a graduation field where you want to get in, in the near future and then further your studies accordingly.
- After your graduation, MBA in Marketing from a reputed institute will make the work easy for you. The marketing function is so very important because if you ever dream of becoming an entrepreneur, the first thing you will need is marketing which will ultimately help you generate profits for your business.
Finance vs Marketing Primary Tasks or Roles
In this section, we will give your ideas about what you can expect from these two domains. What types of tasks you need to perform on a daily basis and what sort of skills you would require would be of immense importance.
#1 – Finance Professionals
Now, you may understand that finance is a very vast field, and to make a list of key-tasks from all is a difficult task. Still, let’s look at the usual tasks that you need to perform as finance professionals. According to your chosen finance profession, you can add up a few core tasks to the list below.
- The primary responsibility of finance professionals is to source the funds for a business. It may be in the form of borrowing money from financial institutions or conducting IPO to sell shares to the public and amass the money for investing in the business. Finance is the heart of business as it pumps money in every department. So as finance professionals your responsibility can’t be overemphasized.
- Sourcing the funds is important, but it is equally important to invest the funds into the right places so that the firms get the maximum ROI from the investment. The finance professionals need to decide which department needs maximum attention. Usually, they should concentrate on their competitive advantage and on making that competency as the core one. Because once the firm has its core competency built properly, the growth of the company can’t be stunned by uncontrollable factors.
- Now after investing the money into the business, let’s say the business makes a huge profit. What would you do with the profit? Should you plow back the profit and reinvest into the business or you would share the profits with your shareholders? Suppose, you decide to share the profits with the shareholders; how much should you give to your shareholders and how much you should keep for re-investment? As finance professionals, your job is to find out the answers to the above questions.
- Lastly, as finance professionals, your job would be to communicate what you thought would be appropriate for business. You need to know how to write reports, communicate with the top management and present your ideas in such a way that the top management can understand the why of your decisions and how these decisions would affect the business in the long run.
#2 – Marketing Professionals
Marketing professionals also have to perform a few typical tasks that are common for most marketing professionals. As finance professionals, marketing professionals can also choose core areas like social media, copywriting, strategy, key-account handling, salesmanship, etc. and then according to the designation and scope of the work you need to perform few core tasks.
Let’s have a look at the primary tasks of marketing professionals –
- The most important task of marketing professionals is market research. If you have a product or a service to offer, your primary job would be to know about the market. You need to go deep and find out about the customers who are potentially prone toward your types of products/services, their age, lifestyle, habits, expectations from a product/service and many more such insignificant details. Once you know these, you would be able to take action on the inputs. There are many arguments on whether marketing research is the job of core marketing professionals or not, but the truth is its part of the marketing function. If the scope of the organization is huge, then the market research becomes the responsibility of market research professionals.
- Aftermarket research, the main concern of marketing professionals is to bridge the gap between the products/services and potential customers. Thus, as marketing professionals, you can take many measures to reduce the gap. You can do sales promotion, direct selling, online advertisements, email marketing, copywriting, etc.
- The next step is delivery. Only planning about the strategy won’t help. You need to know how to deliver the products/services so that the experience of the customers becomes maximum. There’s a part of customer service inherent within it, but it’s also one of the most important tasks of marketing as it ensures repeat customers.
- Once the customer is satisfied, you need to go one step further and offer to know how their experience is with the products and services offered by your company. Using that feedback, you can improve your products and services further.
In the case of finance professionals, work-life balance differs from profession to profession. For example, investment banking professionals have no work-life balance as they need to work even on the weekends to meet the needs of the clients. Whereas, a finance analyst’s work-life balance is good as he works scheduled hours and he gets enough time to spend his weekend with his family.
In the case of marketing professionals, work-life balance differs as well. Professionals who are directly linked to sales may need to stay late to achieve their targets. But people who are social media specialists or copywriters may not need to stay late or work beyond the stipulated time.
According to Payscale.com, the median salary of finance professionals is the US $84,800 per annum.
Let’s have a look at the salary of finance professionals as per the experience –
Let’s have a look at the salary of marketing professionals.
The compensation of marketing managers is lucrative.
As per Salary.com, the median salary of the marketing manager is the US $93,459 per annum. But this amount varies as per the scope of the work, the position/designation, the core areas they cover and how much experience they have in a similar field.
Career Pros & Cons
#1 – Finance
Pros of Finance Career
- The career choices are much more in finance than any other domain.
- So if you choose to be a finance professional, your chances of getting the right job would be higher than others.
- The success of being finance professionals depends on technical skills. Thus if you can be proficient in these technical skills like financial analysis, valuation, financial modeling, etc., chances of success are much more.
Cons of Finance Career
- To be compensated well, you need to choose a core finance domain and then work to become proficient in it.
- If you choose to work in general finance, the compensation is not that lucrative.
- Even if work-life balance differs according to the core profession, work pressure is always there in the finance domain of work.
#2 – Marketing
Pros of Marketing Career
- The work-life balance is great. Other than sales professionals, rarely marketing professionals need to go beyond the scheduled hours.
- They compensated very well. The main reason for getting lucrative compensation is the very nature of the function. Marketing helps generate revenues for the company.
Cons of Marketing Career
- It’s more of a personality job than a technical job. If you can present yourself well, you would be able make your mark.
- Thus not many professionals become successful in the field of marketing.
- Rejection is a natural part of this profession.
- Many times your effort won’t work and you need to step beyond your failures, learn from them and begin again.
This has been a guide to Finance vs Marketing. Here we discuss the difference between Finance and Marketing with the help of outlook of these subjects, education required, primary tasks or responsibilities, work-life balance, etc. You may also have a look at the following articles –